tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN November 19, 2013 11:59am-12:30pm EST
russians are far ahead of us in terms of compliance with the current treaties, ahead of us being the united states. second thing that kernsz me and i find myself where harlan's question from this morning, should we remain deterrence. there are a lot of terms that have baggage in their definitional genre, that leave us having a difficult situation and often talking past each other. extended deterrence, deterrence, strategic, all of these with them a set of meetings that almost take you immediately to nuclear. the question is, in the reali realities of the world we live in and i know we want to like all normal humans live in denial to some extent. in grand strategy, what's really being said in the u.s. and in
nato and europe and other places and the world is that we do not have the financial means for the aspirations that we have for our national security. it's just not matched up. we can't afford as the united states the standing army that we currently have to keep them standing forever, number one. number two, the recap talization of the nuclear force that we have today in a form that is exactly like it is today is unaffordable. so we've got to come to some understanding collectively about what aspirations actually are and what of those aspirations are realizable and that's been a difficult discussion. there's another piece from a conventional standpoint, we in the united states have been a global power, forward based and forward operating, more and more countries, mostly all countries,
do not want large american armies on their soil. that's reality. the cost to have forces every place in the world on mobile platforms is unaffordable. we have a disconnect in as pieration and reality of the resources we have. that's just -- we can live in denial of that but we're also living in the reality of it day to day when you look at the reductions in forces going on. the good news is if you go back to the world wars, for nato, united states -- not nato but europe, we fought those as armies. we put together armies and fought against our foes. if you come forward to the cold war, we fought as divisions. that's how we constructed forces et cetera. you come forward to the current conflicts, we're fighting them as brigades and in other words,
the mobility and lethality and capabilities of the forces today are substantially better than they have been in the past. most people will look at precision in conventional arms and say, that's the ability to hit your target precisely, now what you're aiming at and hit it. the reality of what precision brought us is the number of trucks and people and equipment on battle field today is component ially lower than the past. what's going to allow us to match the resources we have and willing to put against our security and the capabilities that we can actually feel with resources? where are we going to find cost inversions? the ability to do what we want with the resources we actually have, not just to wish for something else. and from my perspective,
strategic, not in the sense of nuclear as we always have thought about it, but in the sense of some of the things we need to do are a long ways away and are urgent and must be done now. some of the things that we need to do are right next door and are equally time sensitive and must be dealt with right now. and we won't be there fizz he canally physically to do it. particularly when you're looking at countries in nato that are more threatened that other countries, a great strategic beach at very quick speeds and not have what it is today, only nuclear. how are we going to think about our next door neighbor attacking us and being able to close with that problem very quickly and put it into a position where we could have more decision time and more capable. how are we going to think about those activities. they are new capabilities out there in missile defense and other areas going to allow us to
start to move in that direction. they are not real yet. so what is the as pieration we have for these problems and the first thing i'll do, i'll use my strategic -- my conventional forces and then if that fails, i'll use my strategic forces. i tell you it's going to turn around. don't think about it in the nuclear sense. you have to think strategic first and coming from great distance or no distance to solve a problem. and last, you're going to think about your conventional forces and moving and the huge cost of standing armies and moving them to the problem. it's just the reality we'll have to deal with it. how are we going to do that and afford it? those are the questions we're going to have to as an alliance come to grips with and understand how we're going to do that. otherwise we won't be matching our resources and our capabilities with the security
that we desire to have. >> thank you. >> other than that in agood place. >> curt dealt firsthand with this type of issue, which is dealing with nato contingency planning and involved, if not leading the effort to bring a dose of reality and make it actually occur when it concerns particularly central europe. when you hear those speakers particularly general cartright's point about being able to exercise and leverage increasing speed and deployability of forces, do you see this happening in nato? are they in a position to leverage the deployability of its forces to provide an adequate deterrence for threats from near and far? >> straight up the ally, soft pitch -- here's the way i want to answer that.
deterrence is when when someone who is your potential adversary decides not to bother because they know it's not going to work. we are deterring two things. the u.s. nuclear deter ent is deterring anyone from even thinking about contesting nuclear dominance off the table. that's good. we should be happy about that. there's no nuclear challenger out there. that extends to nato. this is walt's point as a u.s. guarantee to nato, but only credible if we have the linkage to nato allies bearing this nuclear burden of the policy of nuclear deterrence as well. the burden of that politics of nuclear strategy has to be there or else it's not credible that europe is part of the nuclear strategy and also starts to raise questions, does the u.s. nuclear deter ent extend? that's why that's important.
the other thing we're deterring is a conventional attack on the territory of european members. there i think one of components of deterrence? capability, will, both individual and collective, your track record and your messaging. these are all lined up perfectly and attack against natuo territory by conventional means. nato can and will respond to that. the flip side, we're not deterring anybody else. we're not deterring the taliban from attacking us in afghanistan or from trying to overthrow the government. we're not deterring assad from killing his own people or iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon or korea pursuing a nuclear weapon and not deterring terrorists from trying to attack us wherever they can. those things deterrence is not working. and what do we see on the
horizon now, this planning question that ian raised. we're all cutting our defense budgets and withdrawing u.s. forces from europe. we are not talking about serious ways what to do about crises outside foreign territory, whether it's syria or libya or egypt or what to do about iran. we talk about missile defense but don't talk about against whom. and what the issue is there. we are in the process of eroding a lot of capacity and in what we are projecting to the rest of the world, we are projecting an erosion of will. so this has some serious implications for our ability to keep this deterrence up. the u.s. strategic nuclear deterrence, i'm not so worried about as long as we keep a small nuclear linkage with europe. but i'm worried about nato's credibility for the sake of conventional deterrence. will we continue to convince
people that if there's any thought of an attack on nato member territory, that that will be immediately met and dealt with? i think we risk as we cut our own capabilities and talk about not being willing to do things and project power, that that question can start to creep up in people's minds. since my friend and former ambassador to the u.s. just walked in the door, i'll mention an example of this. we were having a discussion at nato after russia invaded georgia. and a comment from one of the largest allies was that thank goodness we didn't invite georgia to join nato. because then we would have shown that article 5 isn't real, because of course we wouldn't have gone to defend them. and that's the kind of backwards logic that's really dangerous if nato starts to think that way.
that's why if i were to point a way forward, we have to do the things. and we have to do the things that are necessary to keep the conventional deterrent credible. have nato forces actually credible and plan for when they are to be used and exercise that use. i slightly disagree with some of the comments earlier today about the importance of the expeditionary roles. i don't think you can agree in advance on what role we might go off and do. kind of like in bosnia, never talked about going to bosnia. if you do your homework on article 5 real capabilities, they are there when you need them. that's the way i think we need to think about this. >> thank you, curt. general riley, can you talk to us about how missile defense fits into both the deterrence of nuclear threats but also conventional threats from an alliance perspective?
>> i think it's very hard to make a distinction between the two because the missile defense systems are set up to counter missiles unknowing what's in the payload, whether it's a weapon of mass destruction, we don't know while they are launched. there's some intent to do harm or the missile wouldn't be launched in the first place. i believe there's an a.m. big g unite that will stay whether or not to put in a nuclear strategic sense or a conventional attack, probably the greatest indicator would be the range of the missiles that you're looking at. unfortunately, as we've been talking today about the relevancy of the nato missions for the future, in the area of missile defense, the proliferation and the threat of ballistic missiles is not static. and a lot of reviews were done four years ago.
architecture was developed with nato and the united states. i believe if you've looked since then, the greater concerns or growing concerns is the emergence of a user friendly, if i may say ballistic missiles available to nonstate actors. number two, would be the emergence of the anti-shift ballistic missile and countries around the world where you can affect commerce from a great distance. and third would be along the lines of your question, continue developing long range missiles by iran with potential capability of hitting the united states. when you look at that, those threats, as was just said, we have to have a capability, some way to respond to protect those interests and those are long-term commitments and developments. so i honestly believe that the answer to your question is you
have to be prepared to engage missiles without knowing ahead of time of what the threat actually is. >> let me throw a question to you, almost a softball because you've written about this. what are ways in which the europeans can contribute more to u.s. homeland defense when it comes to missile protecting homeland -- u.s. homeland against ballistic missile threats? >> in the case of u.s. homeland defense, about 60 to 70% of the trajectory of a missile we're concerned about coming from the middle east to the united states is over european territory or nonu.s. nato territory. so in the 70% of that flight there's a tremendous amount of data that we would greatly be able to leverage with our own homeland defense system that we currently do not have access to, yet there are sensors in europe today that could make tremendous
contributions to u.s. missile defense. >> can you be more specific? >> there's a network several countries have space object tracking sensors and very precise. when you attempt an intercept of missiles coming in, a lot of sensors are in locations that would be able to give you very accurate assessments of whether you were successful or not much earlier than just relying on u.s. sensors where they are located. and then there's a growing emergence of mobile sensors in nato, especially on board the ships, l band, s band, whole array of frequencies out there that number one make it much more difficult to counter while facing a network like that and two adds a lot of robustment. there's not a single note. so there's a tremendous amount of contribution that can be made
and in a period of austerity that we're looking at right now, these are not expensive undertakings to link these sensors to a u.s./nato system. it would greatly enhance the whole network. >> madlyn, kerry's visit to poland, follows for missile defense. when he was in poland he said the u.s. commitment to build the epa site in 2013 is iron clad. does that mean that the obama speech in prague 2009 in which he said it was an agreement with iran over its nuclear weapons program, if that were to be achieved robustly, that will would be a rethinking of epaa? not totally locked in and no longer valid?
>> we made a substantial commitment to epa to homeland missile defense and to the nuclear deterrent. so when the department went through its strategic choices management review, those were among the three, plus cyber and space capabilities that were going to be highlighted and protected and preserved. part and parcel of that and as we've gone through the various budget deliberations, it becomes really hard to protect those things you want to protect. epa is clearly one of those things we want to protect. we've done so far a pretty good job of protecting phases 2 and phase 1 and 2 and 3. we canceled phase 4. but that's where there is a connection between your question and iran. so we saw a more rapidly emerging north korean threat.
and moved some resources and some assets to go after that more emergent and long term threat from north korea to put additional 14 gbis in alaska and begin to look at how to approve the capabilities of that ekb. we were able to do that because the long range threat from iran hadn't emerged on the timetable we thought it would emerge. we were able to take some of the phase 4 concept and move that to alaska. that said, we know, because everybody tests them all the time and they have lots of them, we have a no kidding real threat from iran in the area of the short and the medium and to some extent intermediate range. those are there and they are real. and that's where the resources are.
the phase 2 ground breaking which we had in romania, and then the upcoming commitment to poland, which we'll see that completed in '18, that -- we are definitely committed to that. those are iron clad because those are real threats. and iran has those real missiles. the bigger question really becomes and it's not just for epa, really for all of the theater defenses, how many defensive systems do you buy to offset how many incoming offensive systems? and that's the question that ultimately we really have to have. because as many have said and looked at this, this is the losing end of a cost i mposing proposition. how far do you want to go, one for one or two for two? that's the next question. it's not where is iran going. it's where is anybody going that has offensive missile capabilities and how do we think about defending them if we can't
always afford that one on one or two-on-one defensive capability, if that's the question, it's a much bigger question than iran. >> regardless we are still going to need missile defense capability and those sites in eastern europe that the united states is building are always going to be there? >> define that disagreement with iran. define what that looks like. we no longer treat russia as an enemy but they still possess nuclear weapons so we still have nuclear weapons. define that box and then we'll define our capabilities, vis avis, that particular box of capabilities. >> turn to walt on missile defense. nato's posture is not to orient it against russia. why is it impossible to reach out to russia on missile defense cooperation and simultaneously
develop limited capabilities against the ballistic missiles? that's what's happening today, the it's not designed against iran, it's against russia. why should nato be contributing to that effort? and why would that necessarily undermine a relationship with the alliance, particularly with the fact, they heavily emphasize nuclear weapons and ballistic technologies? >> it's not that you can't develop a missile which will shoot down a target with writing on it. it's that the russians have capability for exactly the reason just mentioned, to overwhelm any plausible defense. the most you can expect if they want to do it, so missile defenses particularly that the poles are building, which is to
defend specific tarkts and provide some protection as a whole, raise the cause of entry and to make clear that there is some defense that is there not absolutely vulnerable and then you rely on other majors with the deal with the broader question of conflict. i think one of the issues that we tend to slide over is that most of the people in this room know it, but most other people don't, nato actually has nato as an institution, distinct from its members, has remarkably few military capabilities, awax, used to be -- given house expensive it was, i'm not sure i hope it still exists. i'm pleased to know ajs is going to happen some day. they are national systems designed almost invariably with
a national mission and collective mission. and as you know, the principle that everything is a national responsibility, means they usually get paid for by the nations and that therefore the national mission not an absolute priority, not to the exclusion of others but it's very important. i must say this is the advantage of being entirely out of the government, i'm not 100% clear that if there were -- this is madlyn is right, tell me what the agreement with the iranian is and i'll tell you what impact it may have on the defense systems. i find it hard to believe if there were a fundamental change in policy, the united states congress would be quite so keen on providing the funding for a system which is quite rightly heavily oriented toward the
defense of europe. and there's another question about the relationship, the role in missile defenses that's been -- addressed indirectly but not explicitly. you asked general riley about the relationship between missile defense and conventional deterrence. i believe that the most serious element of the threat from countries like iran is not that they will decide they are going to fire off a missile for the hell of it and wipe out. it is that they will embark on some regional aggression not in our interest, very much in our interest to prevent it. they will hope that their nuclear capability, if a relatively limited one is enough to discourage us and discourage other countries from coming to the assistance of whoever they attack. i think in that sense, missile
defense because it offers the prospect of frustrating that strategy, and making it much harder to rely on, i think missile defense makes a major contribution to conventional deterrence, which has nothing to do with shooting anything down. it has to do with reducing the capacity to believe that to quote my good friend shawn, the chief bar bar yan handler in the chinese military, that you won't trade los angeles for tai pei this is a central role of the kind of limited missile defenses that are practical. as to why -- i don't know how many reams of good will and paper have been spent on trying to convince the russians that we would like nothing better than to do things which really no kidding cross our hearts, hope to die, that unsurprisingly,
maybe a few hundred american intercepter missiles will not defeat thousands of russian ones and they usually get variation on no or no followed by colorful adjectives but maybe they'll change. >> general cartright, to follow on curt's point about demonstrating the capacity and political will of the alliance to deal with challenges of today and tomorrow, you talked about the mobility, the mobility of allied forces. i have a sense that that ability may be demonstrated for expeditionary operations but i wonder if the alliance is probably configured today and positioned today to deal with fast breaking regional contingencies on the border, be it poland, be it turkey? am i underestimating nato's
capacity or is this something that needs to be addressed? if so, how would you built up the capacity and demonstrate it? >> i think first in the construct we've been discussing here of nuclear weapons and missile defense, today if somebody attacks and nobody is around, in the interest of our country or other countries and perceived as some sort of extenl threat, the only response to get somebody on the other side of the earth quickly is a nuclear weapon. that has proven to be a shortfall in the credibility of our capability to address it. so then you fall to conventional forces. the beauty in some per verse sense for me, missile defense is that it has significant ability to bridge where extended
deterrence has started to fail us. it has the ability to bridge both strategic long range and strategic short range capabilities of an adversary and introduce at least doubt in the mind of that adversary whether they are going to be successful. where i agree with madlyn, we can't afford to i'm going to build an intercepter for every missile you are. that's unreasonable. we need short of nuclear, nonkin etic capabilities to reach great distances and short distances very quickly to august meant what missile defense can do and fill in gaps of threats that missile defense will never address. the second thing about missile defense to me that is very important in this context is that it was alluded to earlier, no one country has the geography to have all of the sensors they
are going to need to see missiles coming. you have to rely on a coalition. and that binds politically and missionwise, objectivewise, multiple countries together. that has a conventional aspect to it, nuclear at tribute and quite frankly and an asymmetric attribu attribute. you're looking at a defensive capability that can't address strategic to asymmetric, has a political binding attribute to it but you have to bound it with a capability that says if you shoot these things at us, we're going to be unsure whether they get through and something is coming back your way very quickly and we don't have to start at the nuclear level to do it. so that's the force construct
that starts to play here. >> can i add a little bit on that? one of the problems any alliance has is that some people on the front line and some people are more in the rear, that was the decrumbing issue in the cold war but very much an issue in nato today. the countries in eastern europe, turkey and nordic countries that are closest to the potential threat leaving missiles aside, the potential threat of conventional invasion are relying on the support -- not only of the united states but of other more distant countries. leaving the politics aside for the moment, the problem is, one of the reasons there is such interest in retaining at least the option of using nuclear weapons in response to a massive co